Lists, lists, and more lists. Every how-to-plan-your-wedding book tells you to make lists: lists of who gave you what present, lists of what you have to do the day you get married, lists of legal documents you need changed to reflect your new name, lists of what to tell the photographer. It's overwhelming. It's confusing. It's aggravating. At some point, you just want to scream, "No more lists!"
Unless, that is, someone is willing to make the lists for you. Planning a Wedding to Remember by Beverly Clark does just that. If you are a superorganized person (or even a wannabe superorganized person), then this wedding planner is your dream come true. Forget about separate wedding organizers and wedding advice books; the spiral binding and pockets in Planning a Wedding to Remember for estimates and contracts help you stay in control, while the tips provide you with everything you will ever need to know about getting married. From wording on the invitations to charts on wedding attire, from checklists of questions to ask the photographer and the florist to guest-list organizational sheets for the bridal luncheon and shower, from what to bring when you apply for your marriage license to the breakdown of what the bride and groom's families traditionally pay for, Planning a Wedding to Remember leaves no stone unturned.
The book begins with your engagement, encouraging you to tell your family first, plan a party, and put the big news in the newspaper. And of course, at the end of the chapter, you are given a comparison ring-shopping list so you can fillininformation such as what store you visited, the size of the diamond, the setting, and the price. The only weird part of having that particular list in this book is that it assumes that you've purchased Clark's book before you received the ring.
Nonetheless, you're on your way to staying organized through this entire process called wedding planning.
My favorite part of the book is the super-duper count-down checklist. Six to 12 months before the wedding, as Planning a Wedding to Remember reminds, brides need to select a florist, make transportation arrangements, and select a caterer. Four months before, you need to register and get blood tests (if needed), and two months before, you have to make hair appointments and order a wedding cake. During the one-month countdown, you need to get your teeth cleaned (would you have thought of that on your own?), purchase a going-away outfit, and have a formal bridal portrait done. On your wedding day, this book instructs, eat something in the morning and take a relaxing bath at some point. Wow, you say? Don't feel overwhelmed; obviously these are just some of Clark's suggestions, and she expands on every item listed in the extensive bride's countdown checklist (and the not-so-long groom's checklist) throughout the book.
Planning a Wedding to Remember also includes information on planning a ceremony, selecting music for a reception, finding flattering bridal gowns, and much more. For instance, if you want to save some money on your invitations, consider ordering thermography rather than engraved invitations, and stick to standard-size invitations to avoid additional postage. When looking for a creative reception location, consider some of Clark's inventive ideas: the racetrack, a movie studio lot, or a barge. There are also suggestions about characteristics to look for in the service people you will be working with, and must-ask questions to ensure that you are getting the best deals for your dollar (a good caterer will be flexible with the menu and still stay within your budget; discuss whether the photographer holds on to your negatives and if they are kept in a fireproof safe).
For really in-depth information on planning, and for supercreative ideas and money-saving tips, you will need to refer to other guidebooks, which cover those topics more thoroughly. But the foremost responsibility of Planning a Wedding to Remember is keeping its readers organized. With lists abounding in this spiral book, brides can't go wrong.